Vintage Inspired Pucci Orchid Midi
I honestly don’t know what I’m more ecstatic about—the pattern or the fabric! Both are SO good. I’m very familiar with Chalk & Notch patterns, but somehow hadn’t gotten to the Orchid yet. So when Gabriela reached out about sewing the revised version, I jumped at the chance. And, just like all of her other patterns, this one is impeccably wonderful.
I chose the long sleeve version because my fabric is a cotton shirting and doesn’t have the kind of drape for flutter sleeves, and I really wanted more of the 70’s wrap dress vibe with the long gathered sleeves. I wanted a more fitted look as well and made the following adjustments to create what I envisioned:
I sized down one size and made a 14 C/D bust with 16 waist and hip. Chalk & Notch patterns usually have quite a relaxed fit so I always size down one size when making them.
I shortened the bodice 1.5”, though next time I’d only do 1”
I shortened the skirt and sleeves 2” each
I added a 1” full bicep adjustment and lowered the armscye 5/8”
I’m so happy with how this dress turned out. As always, the instructions and tips were well written and thorough, and the result was exactly what I expected.
The separate pattern pieces for a C/D cup worked like a charm and, though I don’t expect it when making a pattern, it was nice to not have to add a full bust adjustment to the rest of my alterations. And speaking of adjustments, if your sleeves are often too tight while the rest of the garment fits well, do yourself a favor and give a full bicep adjustment a try. Its another step, but hot dang, its so satisfying to have more room and subsequently more comfort in movement. This tutorial by Helen’s Closet is the one I use for doing a full bicep adjustment. Helen has several fitting tutorials that I’d say are the reason I started taking custom adjustments more seriously and investing the time to do them. Her tutorials are great! Gabriela has a blog post about custom adjustments specifically for the Orchid so make sure to check that out as well.
My vintage inspired dreams wouldn’t have come true without this stunning Emilio Pucci deadstock cotton shirting (now sold out) from The Sewing Workshop. I love the blush pink base (of course I do) and how it works with the vibrant swirls of magenta, chartreuse, and black. Its truly one of a kind! This is larger scale print is not one I would normally gravitate towards, but as I mulled over some fabric choices, I couldn’t stop coming back to this very iconically “Pucci” gem.
As I mentioned before, this fabric is a cotton shirting, which means it has a little less drape and more crispness, so I made my adjustments with this in mind. I don’t think a cotton shirting is the first thought one has when picking fabric for the Orchid, but it makes a lovely dress! Because it has more body, the cotton creates a more defined skirt silhouette, and it also helps to keep the front wrap from gaping (or so I’ve noticed, at least). Made in the shirting the style of the Orchid Midi reads differently, and that’s the beauty of this pattern. The feel of the dress and the fashion trends it evokes are totally flexible based on your own design choices, particularly with your fabric and sleeve options and combinations.
If you ask me, the Orchid Midi and some perfectly vintage Emilio Pucci fabric are truly meant to be. I am really loving 70’s inspired fashion and I couldn’t be more pleased with this interpretation of a vintage wrap dress. My only complaint is that I can’t make another one fast enough!